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by Francis Bacon

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Discuss Francis Bacon's Essays as a compendium of worldly wisdom and the art of success.

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Ashley Kannan eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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This is going to be a matter of opinion. I think that it's highly subjective to be able to argue that Bacon's works are an example of worldly wisdom.  They are based on his own experience and what his own opinons are about what success is and how consciousness develops.  Certainly, he offers some valid insights.  Certainly, these impressions are substantiated by his own experience.  There is much there.  Yet, I think that there is a slight danger in assessing anyone's individual opinion and experience as representative of worldly wisdom.  The "world" component is missing.  Bacon speaks from his own point of view and, perhaps, that of influential British citizens.  He is not speaking from the point of view of women, or from those who were subjugated by the British political orders.  He does not articulate "the art of success" from those who were socially stratified into poverty or the working class.  I believe that this has to be tempered in what he offers, in that he speaks from the point of view of an experience of success that is not necessarily shared by others who are not in his point of reference.